Ten Poems by Neeli Cherkovski

an old woman walked on air
as grass growled, weeds became a chorus
she tied her shoes and soared
over magnetic fields, children shined a light
in her face, she jumped
fell and ate the corner cantina

she poured speechless talk
into the pot, becoming a little girl
with ruby cheeks and fluffy dress
she said why does the old child
need to cry? why do my father and mother
have to dive and try to die?

an old woman walked on air
her shoes were fashioned from glass
she tore emptiness from her breasts and
crawled over deserted nunneries looking for
diamonds, silver necklaces and a horde
of gold, she became a little girl
down inside of darkness where dancers scream

she read pornographic magazines
and studied comic books at night
but gave to children seraphim and
angelic unicorns, she kissed
the feet of Mother Superior and
believed in miraculous feminine blood

an old woman walked on air
her hidden notebooks are rivers
mudbanks, reeds, tall growth abounds
her husband weeps at the border
he cannot cross, his cupped hands
are dry, back home machetes
are thrown into wounded skies

she tore off his mask on the desertıs tongue
saw wasteful truth, awful beauty
and ran to the child who wore a dress
held her in her arms, they danced
across a field overgrown with poppies
until distant galaxies took notice

an old woman walked on air
she grew older than the moon
priests came, magicians and
fiddlers arrived, Yaqui wise men
stood on a hill, we are what you dream
as you rip curtains wide
ponies whisper and are wild inside

Iım an old woman and live
in the sky, border guards demand
my eyes, they pretend my arms
donıt exist, these old men
are children when I sing, old
silences rise out of the abyss, dreams
become what real minds dream